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Arte de la lengua de michuacan

Gilberti, Maturino

DomaineTraditions non-occidentales
SecteurGrammaires amérindiennes [4645]

Internet Archive (éd. 1758)


Gilberti, Maturino

Datation: 1507-1585

Maturino Gilberti (or Gylberti, on the title page of Arte de la le[n]gua de Michuacã) was born in Poitiers (France). According to the catalogue of John Carter Brown the date of his birth is 1498, but according to Warren (2007), he is born between January 26th 1507 and January 25th of 1508. In 1524 he was ordained priest of the Order of the Franciscans (O.F.M.) in Parthenay, France and he studied Artes and theology at the University of Toulouse around 1534. He left France for the New World ca. 1541 and arrived August 24th 1542 in Mexico. It is not clear when he arrived in Michoacan, probably after his thirtieth birthday (Monzón 2005, p. 66), but it has been documented that he was there in 1556 (Lucas González 2004, p. 28). He published his Doctrina Cristiana in 1553, a work which is considered to be lost. From 1557 he worked in Mexico where he published his Arte (Mexico: Juan Pablos, October, 8th, 1558,) his work Thesoro Spiritual en Lengua Mechuacan (October, 20th, 1558) and his Diálogo de doctrina christiana en lengua de Mechuacan (June, 15th, 1559), his Vocabulario en lengua de Mechuacan (September, 7th, 1559) and in the same year, his Latin grammar Grammatica Maturini. Apart from some short periods in Mexico, he probably spent the major part of his life in Michoacan, in Tzintzuntzan, Zinapécuaro and in Uruapan. Between 1560 and 1563, he was accused by the Inquisition, for some passages in his Diálogo, which were finally censured by the authorities. In 1564 Gilberti was “doctrinero y guardian” in Peribán and in 1570 he became guardian in the convent of Uruapan, where he wrote the “aprobación” of the grammar and dictionary of another Franciscan, Juan Baptista de Lagunas. He published his work Thesoro spriritual de pobres in 1575. Gilberti dies in October, 3rd, 1585 in Tzintzuntzan (Rea 1882 [1643], p. 157). A considerable number of his manuscripts are still unstudied today (Lucas González 2004, p. 30).

Titre de l'ouvrageArte de la le[n]gua de Michuacã cõpilada por el muy Reuerendo padre fray Maturino Gylberti, de la orden del Seraphico padre sant Francisco, de regular obseruãcia.
Titre traduitGrammar of the language of Michoacán, compiled by the very Reverend priest Maturino Gylberti of the Seraphic Order of Saint Francis, of the regular observance.
Titre courtArte de la lengua de michuacan
Remarques sur le titre
Période|16e s.|
Type de l'ouvrageComplete grammar covering phonology, morphology and syntax. Descriptive grammar, Didactic/ pedagogic grammar for learners of P'urhépecha (Tarascan). Grammar for non-native speakers of P'urhépecha, novices who were preparing themselves for the mission.
Type indexéGrammaire descriptive | Grammaire didactique | Grammaire élémentaire
Édition originale1558, october 8th, Mexico, Juan Pablos.
Édition utiliséeFirst edition 1558. John Carter Brown call nr. B558. G464a.
Volumétrie80, 83-87, 89-171, 173-[3] leaves; 15 cm (in-8°). Foliation errors: misprinting 27, 94, 111, 154, 163 and 164 as 24, 80, 110, 134, 16 and 15 respectively; leaves 28 and 30-32 lack numeration.
Nombre de signes160000
Reproduction moderneLeón, N. 1898 (reduced edition); Warren, J. B. 1987; Monzón, C. 2004.
Diffusion500 copies were printed of the first edition of his Arte (Monzón 2004, p. 33). The work was already a very rare book in the 19th century, as we can read in the prologue of Manuel de San Juan Crisóstomo Nájera, who refers erroneously to the author as “Guillert” (1870, p. 16).
Langues ciblesLa lengua de Michuacán. Alternative names (not used by Gilberti): Tarasco (Tarascan), Purépecha, P'urhépecha. The term “Tharasco” or “tarasco” is already used in the earliest period of contact Spaniards and the indigenous people. It is used as synonym of Mechuacan by Martínez de Araujo (1690, f. 83v). Basalenque is the first grammarian who uses the term “Tarascan” as glottonym in the title of a grammar (Arte de la lengua tarasca). Father Ángel Serra does not use the term “tarasco” in the title of his Manual, but when he refers to this language, he often uses the term “Tarasco” (as in the prologue: “en lengua Tarasca, y Castellana”), although he also uses the term “el Idioma de Mihchuacan [sic]” (Serra 1697, f. 12v) and the “confessionario” bears the title “en idioma castellano, y de Michuacan” (f. 109v). Tarascan and the language of Michuacan seem to be used as synonyms. In the 18th century father Botello Movellán wrote his Cathecismo breve en lengua tarasca (see Warren's chapter “Tarasco o Purepecha?”, for more details; in Warren 2007)
MétalangueCastellano (Spanish) and Latin (as in the sections of the adverbs, Gilberti sometimes uses Spanish terms, such as “adverbios affirmatiuos”, “para exhorar”, etc. (f. 87r-v) and in other cases he uses Latin, such as qualitatis, quantitatis, congregandi, similitudinis, etc. The prepositions are arranged alphabetically and all appear in Latin: ad, apud, ante… (f. 95v sq.). Some verbs are also given in Latin, such as sum, es, and dolet, pono (f. 140v). For a complete list of Latin terms, see the index in Monzón (2004, p. 363-367).
Langue des exemplesLanguage of Michuacán/Tarascan/P'urhépecha
Sommaire de l'ouvrageEpistola (directed to Vasco de Quiroga, different sections signed by Juan de Ybarreta, Luys de Velasco, Franciscus de Toral). Aprobacion (Iacobus Danus, Diego Perez Gordillo).
Prologo. In the prologue, the author gives an overview of the content of the three books. The first book deals with the ‘declension’ of nouns, pronouns and verbs, the second contains the eight parts of speech, and the third deals with orthography and the composition of verbs with its particles. Before he starts with the first book, four “avisos” are included regarding pronunciation. The second “aviso” contains minimal pairs of ‘equivocal’ words, recognizing the contrastive nature of stress in P'urhépecha (“vocablos que en latin llamamos Æquiuocos”, such as Véquanhaxeti (‘es cosa linda’) / Vequánhaxeti (‘es cosa triste’). The fourth “aviso” contains the ba, be, i.e. a “cartilla” of Tarascan, representing a list of 92 CV and 2 CVC syllables in P'urhépecha, with a word illustrating each one (Smith-Stark 2005, p. 43).
Primera parte. De la declinacion de los nombres substa[n]tivos.Declinacion de los nombres adiectiuos. (f. 12v); [without subtitle Gilberti deals with the personal pronoun and its declension here] (f. 12v-13r); Conivgacion del verbo hurendahpen (f. 13v-41r); del verbo Sum, es (f. 29); Conjugacion del verbo Harani (f. 36); Conjugacion del verbo Arani (f. 38).
Segunda parte del arte: en la qual se trataran las ocho partes de la oracion como en la Grammatica. (f. 41v-108v). De los nombres substantiuos (f. 41v-43v); De los nombres adiectiuos (f. 43v-44r); Del vso de los numeros en los nombres (f. 44r); De los generos (f. 46r-47v); De la terminacion de los nombres (f. 47v-55r). [In this section Gilberti includes word lists, arranged according to their endings, not alphabetically]; De los nombres comparatiuos (f. 55r); comparativos negativos (f. 55); De los comparativos affirmativos (f. 55); De los superlativos negativos (f. 56); De los superlativos affirmativos (f. 56); De los diminutiuos (f. 56); Declaracion de los casos (57r-61v); De los pronombres (f. 60-f. 65v); [De los pronombres primitivos] (f. 60), deriuatiuos (61v); demonstratiuos (61v); De los pronombres relativos (f. 61v-63r); Los compositos de quis (f. 63r); Declaracion de los casos de qui, quae, quod relatiuos (f. 63v-65v); De los verbos simples (65v-69r); Para dezir yo a ti, tu a mi, etc. (f. 69v); Reglas para usar de los pronombres afixos con los verbos nota (f. 69v-f. 70r); De los modos de preguntar por los tiempos y personas del indicativo (f. 76r-v); De la manera de ayuntar muchos verbos en una mesma oracion (f. 77v-78v); De la diversidad de los verbos, y primerame[n]te de los actiuos (f. 78v); impersonales actiuos (f. 79v); paßivos (f. 80r-v); poßeßiuos (f. 80v-81r); De los verbos que significan reiteracion (f. 83r-84r); frequentatiuos (f. 84r); equiuocos (f. 84r); De los verbos que tienen la rayz doblada (f. 84v); De los aduerbios temporales (f. 85r-86r), locales (f. 86r-v), interrogatiuos (f. 86v-87r), affirmatiuos (f. 87r); para exhortar (f. 87r); para deßear (f. 88v), para dezir poco a poco (f. 88v), qualitatis, en que manera o de que manera (f. 89r), quantitatis Quanto en cantidad f. 89r), dvbitandi para dudar (f. 89r); congregandi para ayuntar (89v); discretiua para dezir apartadamente (f. 89v), similitudinis para semejança (f. 89v); ordinativos para dezir primeramente (f. 89v); intensiua (f. 90r); demonstrandi (f. 90r); vocatiuos para llamar (f. 90r). Declaracion de algunas diciones que a las vezes son aduerbios, y a las vezes nombre, o verbo como Aqua, Casipeti, Cez, Qhuanimetan, hinetan, Hineran, Hi[im]bo (f. 90v); De los participios (f. 92r-93r); [De los gerundios sustantivos] Endo (f. 93r-v); en dum (f. 93v-94v); De los supinos en tum, tu (f. 94v-95r); De las preposiciones (f. 95r-102r); De las conjunctiones (f. 102r-103v); De las interjectiones (f. 103v), para llorar, admirar, para regogizo o alegria (f. 103v-104r); De los vocablos de parentesco (f. 104r-108r); De los vocablos de la affinidad (f. 108r); Palabras para preguntar de casamiento (f. 108r-v).
Tercera parte. De la orthographia (f. 109r-110r); De la frasis y ornato desta lengua (f. 110r-112v); De la composicion de lops verbos (f. 112v-114r); De las particulas (f. 114r-139r); Del verbo arani, y harani (f. 139r); Breve platica sobre la composicion destas particulas puestas en esta tercera parte (f. 140r-144r); modo de contar en esta lengua (f. 144v-152v); Modvs dicendi (f. 152v); Para reñir y motejar (f. 153r); Para alabar a uno de tal o tal cosa (f. 134 [sic] 153r); Para aconsejar (f. 155v); Yrse algvno para boluer mas (f. 156r); yr, o venir juntos a alguna parte (f. 157r); Lugar lleno de alguna cosa (f. 157v-165v); Para quando van dos de camino (f. 166r-167r); Para mandar en casa (f. 167r-169r); De la cuenta de los dias (f. 169r-171r); De las partes de la noche (f. 171r-174r), [colophon] (f. 174r). Sigve se la table desta arte (no number folios).
Objectif de l'auteurAs we observed in the entry of Pedro de Alcalá, most missionary dictionaries (and grammars) are conceived as a tool for only A-speakers. Alcalá presents his dictionary as a tool for both A + B speakers. In the colophon of Gilberti's grammar, we read that his work would benefit two target groups: All learners of Tarascan, and the Tarascan speaking indigenous population who want to learn Castilian: “todos los que pretendieren aprender la lengua Mechuacan, y tambien podra servir para los Indios de Mechuacan para aprender la lengua Castellana”. Gilberti composed his work for learners of P'urhépecha, and in some cases he mentions explicitly the target group of new learners (beginners). For them he gave specific paradigms and overviews, as in the case of the “pronombres agentes y pacientes” (f. 74v).
Intérêt généralThis the earliest extant grammar of P'urhépecha. It is significant that Gilberti ‘discovers’ a phonological system which was totally different from what was known in Europe. Gilberti highlights that this language has many “aspirations” (f. 109r). He made the first attempts to describe the pronunciation of several affricates, and developed an orthography for them, as the trigraph /thz/ for the aspirated affricate (for a complete philological analysis of Gilberti, see Monzón 2005, p. 76). Analyzing the internal structure of the word, Gilberti uses the basic concepts of the “root” (‘raíz’) and ‘particles’ which roughly include what we call today personal reference, derivational and inflectional morphemes (Monzón 1997, p. 134). Another novelty is that he analyses what he calls “composición” (composition). He may have been inspired by grammarians describing Nahuatl who also devoted much attention to “composition”, but in this case he adapted this concept to the specific features of P'urhépecha, an isolate language. Verbs have to be combined often by ‘particles’ which are placed “in the middle of the verb”, and often these “particles” refer to the person or place. Gilberti decides to devote an entire section to these ‘particles’, which he arranged in a ‘predominantly alphabetical order’. (f. 114r-139r). This is the earliest example of a grammar which devotes so many pages to ‘particles’. It is not known if Gilberti has inspired other authors directly, but the tendency to devote comprehensive chapters at the end of the grammar where ‘particles’ are described, is followed by Córdoba and others, and later, by grammarians in the Philippines. Indirectly, Gilberti understood that these ‘particles’ were difficult to classify and therefore they were not described in the chapters devoted to the eight traditional parts of speech. Gilberti also decided to include a specific section entitled ‘plática’ (‘talk’) for pedagogical reasons. As we demonstrated (Zwartjes 2016), this may be a continuation of the grammatical tradition from Renaissance (Erasmus and others). In this section, he gives practical examples which demonstrate how to use these particles (“Una breve platica sobre la composicion destas particulas puestas en esta tercera parte”, f. 140r). Such ‘particles’ include postpositions and adverbs (Monzón 1997, p. 136). Monzón (2007, p. 76) concludes that Gilberti's Arte has a “morphological analysis surprisingly distinct from the grammatical analysis of the time”. From the concatenation of some five to seven suffixes in a Tarascan word, he isolated what he called particles, gave their meaning, and illustrated their use. In total, he identified 63 suffixes and 14 clitics. Another section which does not follow any Greco-Latin model is the paragraph entitled “Del frasis y ornato desta lengua”, where some idiosyncrasies of the language are discussed. Gilberti selected two topics, one ‘phrasis’ is the use of the ‘expletive conjunction’, and the second relates to some phonological changes. Such ‘frasis’ were seen as embellishments (‘ornato’), manners of speech which are pleasant (“estos modos de hablar, el qual es muy lindo”, f. 111v). According to Gilberti, as he explains in his prologue, such ‘frasis’ do not follow any specific grammatical rule (“ciertos modos de hablar, los quales no tienen cierta regla mas de ser el phrasis de hablar entre ellos”, f. 6r).
Parties du discoursAs demonstrated in the prologue, the second book contains the eight parts of speech in the same order as the one in the Grammar (“en la mesma orden que en la Grammatica suelen poner”). The same observation is also found at the beginning of the second part (f. 41v). The author does not offer a summery, but he treats the parts of speech in the following order: noun, verb, pronoun, adverb, participles, preposition, conjunction, interjection. It is significant that Gilberti also observes that some words (diciones) are difficult to classify, such as aqua, casipeti, cez, qhuanimetan, hinetan, hineran, himbo. These words are ‘adverbs’, and simultaneously they can be considered as ‘adverb’, ‘noun’, or ‘verb’ (f. 90v). The latter (himbo) is also classified as ‘particle’ (f. 91v).
Innovations term.Gilberti is the earliest author of the New World to use the concept of the ‘root’ (raíz/rayz) in his grammar, in particular in the sections devoted to verbal morphology. The term ‘root’ is explained in his dictionary (f. 80), since Gilberti decided not to give too many explanations in his Arte particularly for beginners, who might be confused by this difficult topic, even for advanced learners (“y por no offuscar ni amedre[n]tar a los nueuos discipulos en esta le[n]gua, no los he querido poner en el arte, porque es materia muy difficultosa, y aun para los muy acabados y enseñados en esta lengua”, ibid.). Gilberti compares the root with the trunk (‘tronco’) of a tree, without its branches (‘ramos’), the ‘servile letters’, which are terms which came from the Hebrew tradition (Zwartjes 2008). Lagunas elaborated further on these principles and directly or indirectly these principles inspired many others in Mexico and in the Philippines. Other novelties in this grammar are the terms ‘animado racional’, and ‘inanimado’ which is an important distinction in nominal morphology of Tarascan (only ‘animados racionales’ are ‘declinable’ and can be pluralized). Another novelty are the terms “pronombres affixos” (f. 69v), antedating Molina's grammar. Olmos in his grammar of Nahuatl distinguishes between ‘pronombres promitiuos’ and ‘pronombres deriuatiuos’. The pronominal prefixes in Nahuatl ni-, ti-, have the same meaning, according to Olmos, as the primitive pronouns ‘yo’, ‘tú’, etc. but they ‘resemble’ particles (“aunque mas parecen particulas”). Gilberti went a step further, and called them ‘particles’ (Zwartjes 1998, p. 112). According to Gilberti, these ‘affixes’ are “locked in” with the agent in the same word and they can be placed before and after (“los pronombres affixos de personas patientes van trauados co[n] las p[er]sonas age[n]tes en vn mesmo vocablo y s[e] pueden a[n]teponer, o posponer como pareciere al que habla”, f. 69v). Gilberti also distinguishes the subcategories “pronombres agentes” and “pronombres pacientes” (also spelled as “patientes”), as compared to Molina who describes the “accusative” as “la persona que padece”, which means the same (f. 26r). Gilberti also observes that these “affixed pronouns” can be attached to verbs, nouns, adverbs and conjunctions (f. 73r). Gilberti is conservative in his use of metalinguistic terms regarding verbal inflection (Monzón 2000).
Corpus illustratifParadigms are given in P'urhépecha and Spanish. In the third book, the so-called ‘pláticas’ are included with topics from predominantly daily speech (Zwartjes 2016).
Indications compl.
Influence subieAccording to Monzón (2004, p. 34), the work is probably inspired by Antonio de Nebrija's Introductiones Latinae (1481), Donatus and Priscian (Monzón 1999, p. 34 and 2005, p. 66), but Gilberti does not mention this author by name. He refers to the more general “la Grammatica” (Prologue). According to the index of Monzón (2004, p. 346) Gilberti includes nine references to “grammatica”. In the introduction of the third part about orthography, Gilberti refers to Saint Jerome.
Influence exercéeJuan Baptista de Lagunas relies heavily on Gilberti's work. His grammar, published in 1574. According to Rea (1882 [1643], p. 173) all the manuscripts which circulate in this language all are based upon the pioneering work of Gilberti, who was the first to “open the door to the real knowledge of this language” (ibid.). Gilberti's work was also one of the main sources for other grammarians, such as Diego Basalenque (1714), Manuel de San Juan Crisóstomo Nájera (1879), Francisco Pimentel (1886) and Raoul de la Grasserie and Nicolás León (1896) (Monzón 2004, p. 38). In 1697, Ángel Serra observes in his prologue that he wrote his work “according to the best spelling possible” (“con la mejor orthographia que se pudo”), i. e. as it was established by Maturino Gilberti (Serra 1697, “Prologue”, no numbered folios). Basalenque observes in his prologue that both Gilberti's and Lagunas's work can be improved by another grammar which would be more clear (“pudieran tener alguna mas claridad en la disposicion”, Basalenque 1714: “Prólogo”, no page numbers). As early as 1690, the language documented by Gilberti was according to some missionaries regarded as the ancient language (“antiguo idioma”), which was almost unintelligible in around 1690, but Martínez Araujo (1690, prologue).
Renvois bibliographiques→ Références
León N. (éd.) 1898; Lucas González R. 2004; Martínez de Araujo J. 1690; Monzón C. 1997; Monzón C. 1999; Monzón C. 2000; Monzón C. (éd.) 2004; Monzón C. 2005; Monzón C. 2007; Nájera M. de San Juan Crisóstomo 1870; Rea A. de la 1882 {[1643], chap. 34}; Serra Á. 1697; Smith-Stark T. C. 2005; Warren J. B. (éd.) 1987; Warren J. B. (éd.) 2003 {Joseph Zepherino & Movellán Botello [1756]}; Warren J. B. 2004; Warren J. B. 2007; Warren J. B. 2007; Zwartjes O. 1998; Zwartjes O. 2008; Zwartjes O. 2016

Zwartjes, Otto

Création ou mise à jour2017-05